Two incredibly brave cash-in-transit couriers were recognised by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) with Special Awards for Outstanding Service.
The awards, which are sponsored by the BSIA’s intelligence sharing initiative SaferCash, serve to acknowledge the outstanding courage, initiative and composure displayed by cash-in-transit couriers in the face of exceptionally challenging or dangerous circumstances.
The awards were presented at the Association’s prestigious Annual Lunch, which was held on July 12th at the Grand Connaught Rooms near Covent Garden.
Discussing the value of the awards, James Kelly, Chief Executive of the BSIA, commented: “Cash in Transit guards undertake one of the most important, yet dangerous jobs, in society as they move cash around the country, helping to keep the economy running. While conducting these essential duties, cash-in-transit couriers are at a high risk of attack, which can often be extremely violent
“This year’s award winners were both confronted by extraordinary, dangerous situations, yet remained calm and composed in the face of adversity. They are a testament to the hard work, bravery and dedication that cash-in-transit couriers exhibit in their roles every day. We are extremely proud to have people like them working within the industry and were honoured to present them with this accolade.”
The first of this year’s Special Awards winners is Daniel Hennell, a CIT driver for G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd. Daniel was making a delivery to a local delivery store when he was faced with an extremely difficult situation. He was approaching the rear of his vehicle with a cash container when an attacker wearing a dark hooded top with a spider man mask and bandana appeared, brandishing what appeared to be an imitation revolver style gun.
The attacker punched Daniel in the face with such force that his helmet visor was lifted up. Despite the force of the attack, Daniel managed to push his personal attack alarm, just as the attacker fired the hand gun in the air, attempting to make a demand for the box. Daniel struggled with the attacker, who then held the hand gun at point blank range to his chest. At this point, Daniel remained calm and made the judgement that the hand gun was not real. Bravely, he backed away from his attacker and retreated into the store with the cash box. Daniel’s composure and courageousness meant that the attacker fled the scene without any cash, resulting in a nil loss attack for G4S.
Talking about his award, Daniel commented: “I am pleasantly surprised to have won this award. I wasn’t even aware I had been nominated as I feel I was just doing my job. I am proud to have been recognised by the BSIA. After being involved in the security industry for approximately 20 years in various towns and cities, the thing that always strikes me is the willingness to help, assist and teach from everybody involved, from the CCTV operators, stopwatch, and individual security/loss prevention teams. My future aspirations within the industry are simple – to continue to do my job effectively with a smile on my face and to continue to listen and learn from people around me.”
The second award winner is Paul Cockerham, also a CIT driver for G4S Cash Solutions (UK) Ltd who was faced with a life threatening situation. Paul had arrived at a customer’s site to begin a collection service, parking outside the customer’s premises with very good visibility. As he was walking back to his vehicle with a cash container, valued at £20,000, Paul heard a car speeding up nearby. It was then that he saw the car being driven towards him, which struck him and knocked him to the ground.
At this point, a second attacker started running towards Paul. Despite the force of the impact, Paul managed to get to his feet and open the rear door of his vehicle, placing the cash box within the airlock. Before he was able to safely get in the airlock himself, the attackers pulled Paul backwards away from the vehicle and onto the ground. Luckily, Paul was able to close the vehicle’s door as they did this, consequently securing the box and its contents. A struggle ensued between Paul and the two attackers, with punches being traded before the attackers ran away empty handed. Paul displayed tremendous courage and commitment to his role, with his actions meaning that this was a nil loss attack for G4S.
When asked how he felt about his award, Paul enthused: “I feel ecstatic. I did not expect it! After all I was just doing my job."
Talking about their winner’s achievements, Gareth Skinner, Head of Operational Risk for G4S Cash, said: “Daniel Hennell and Paul Cockerham showed remarkable courage in the face of substantial danger and they richly deserve these special awards for outstanding service. We are lucky to have them in our team and they are an inspiration to their colleagues, our company and the wider industry.
“While technology has helped us to reduce the risks that cash crews face, these attacks are a reminder of the bravery of people across the industry who face down threats in order to keep cash circulating and the pound in the public’s pockets. They help to safeguard the prosperity of communities and our economy and they have the right to come home safely at the end of their shift. We are resolutely committed to continuing to invest in technology, help the police to secure prosecutions against the gangs behind this kind of criminality and ultimately improve safety for everyone working in the sector.”
More information about the important role that CIT couriers play in our society can be found here.